Go to Page | Index | Contents 426     | Biblio. | Page- | Page+

Rumors of Invasion

that Colonel Kinney "had no agency in the affair," but had actually "endeavored to suppress & prevent such conduct." "Learning that a party of the enemy who he sought was passing the night in el paraje de los Leonistos,"[21]  Villareal traveled all night with a detachment of some forty rancheros with the hope of surprising the Texans the next day. The Mexicans came upon Captain Yerby and his nine men at daylight at Leonistos, not far from the Nueces and within thirty miles of the rancho. At daylight he ordered twenty-two men from the La Bahía squadron and presidiales to dismount. Near sunrise, June 13, the Mexicans commenced their assault under the command of Ensign (brevet Lieutenant) Ambrosio de la Garza. The attack continued until 9 o'clock, killing all of the Texan "cow-thieves," except Thomas Cabasos, who was "notorious for his guiding the Americans in such enterprises."[22]  Cabasos succeeded in effecting his escape under protection of the forest. The Mexican losses consisted of two killed and two wounded, one gravely.[23]  The bodies of Yerby's party were found by Captain John T. Price's company which reached the Nueces on June 23. Reported Price,

It appears that they (the robbers) had a short time before killed a party of traders and robbed them of several hundred dollars, a lot of blankets, etc. This party of Americans was led by a Mr. Yearby who formerly resided at Austin. We learned also from some Mexicans recently from Camargo that Owensby, with about fifteen men, had been surrounded by two or three hundred Mexicans, and that eight or nine of his men were killed and himself and five others taken prisoners.[24]

In the latter report Price seems to have been in error for other information indicates that upon learning of Yerby's fate Ownsby's party

21. Pedro de Ampudia ál Sr. General gefe del cuerpo de Egército del Norte, cuerpo de egército del Norte, la Division, 2d Brigada, Núm. 160 [161?], Matamoros, Junio 18 de 1841, in El Ancla, June 21, 1841.

22. Ibid.; Telegraph and Texas Register, July 7, 14, and 21, 1841; Jesús Cárdenas, Prefecto del Norte de Tamaulipas, ál Gobernador del Departamento [de Tamaulipas], Matamoros, Junio 18 de 1841, in Gaceta del Gobierno de Tamaulipas, July 3, 1841. It was reported in the Telegraph and Texas Register that Yerby's men were captured and hung. Ampudia reported that all ten of the enemy were killed.

23. Killed: Jesús Flores, Juan Cantú. Wounded: Eustaquio Cantú, father of Juan Cantú, gravely; Madrid (presidial soldier).

24. John T. Price to Branch T. Archer, Secretary of War, July 2, 1841, Army Papers (Texas), ms.

Go to Page | Index | Contents 426     | Biblio. | Page- | Page+

AFTER SAN JACINTO: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1836-1841
Joseph Milton Nance, 1963